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New Mexico Genealogy

There is a long history of European settlements in the New Mexico area, but it only became a state in 1912 so the time frame for getting government-issued documents is not as long as in some other states. Nonetheless, there is much to research in New Mexico genealogy.

New Mexico Vital Records

Birth, death and marriage records are all lumped together as "vital records" and they are a typical destination for anyone looking into genealogy. Unfortunately, New Mexico doesn't make it easy. They hold their vital records to be confidential regardless of the age of the record. So you will have to be an immediate relative in order to make a request for any copies. The allowed relationships are child, parent, sibling, grandparents or current spouse. You can also request your own birth or marriage records.

If these restrictions still allow for you to request copies, then you just have to send the right paperwork to the Office of Vital Records. They have a walk-in location in Albuquerque and the location in Santa Fe can handle both walk-in service as well as mailed in applications.

The forms can be downloaded from the New Mexico Department of Health, and once completed you just send them to the office along with your ID, proof of relationship and the search fee. The cost for a birth record is currently $10 but a death record is only $5. These fees are not refunded if they cannot find the record you want.

The Vital Records office has records back to 1912 but you can sometimes find older material through the individual county clerk's offices instead. The same privacy rules will apply though.

Marriage records are not kept by the main Vital Records office, you need to contact the registrar's office for the county where the marriage took place in order to make a document request.

If you are not able to get the vital records you want due to the privacy laws, there are other options to find more New Mexico genealogy information elsewhere.

Archives and Historical Services

At the state archives, you can find many kinds of documents, including many state and county government records. There are also church documents, census records, private correspondence and manuscripts, wills, old maps and photographs, and several published family history books.

The Archives are in Santa Fe and their research room is open Monday through Friday, but afternoons only. Their staff may be able to do some research for you if you cannot go in person, but you will have to contact them to get the details.

New Mexico Genealogy Groups

You can also find a treasure trove of additional New Mexico genealogy info through one of the local societies. You may have to join in order to take advantage of any members-only material but some will share data with anyone interested.

The main group for the state is the New Mexico Genealogical Society. You can also find some smaller groups for individual counties or other regions, such as the Albuquerque Genealogy Society or the Los Alamos Historical Society.

State Resources


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